H&R Block, Nextdoor Project Reduces Social Isolation During COVID-19

At the beginning of 2020, Nextdoor and H&R Block launched a nationwide search in January calling on neighbors to submit community projects to provide more opportunities for neighbors to build stronger, inclusive connections. 

The Make Every Block Better project intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus moved in to isolate neighborhoods, this mission proved crucial. More than 2,000 projects were submitted by neighbors across the U.S. 

Now as the U.S. attempts to recover from the effects of the pandemic, the two companies announced the 10 projects across the country that they believe will reduce social isolation and unite communities.

The winning projects ran the gambit, from afterschool programs to community gardens and neighborhood cleanups.

The project invests in programs that support small businesses and builds connections in communities to combat increasing social isolation.

During the next several months, H&R Block and Nextdoor will work with the nominators and local volunteers from the neighborhoods to bring the projects to life.

The companies are also sourcing help and resources from local businesses to complete the projects. All projects are slated to be completed by the end of 2020 and are being implemented with necessary COVID-19 safety precautions.

The selected community improvement projects include:

  • Green Valley, Arizona – Constructing a communal space at a community garden for residents to step out of the sun and form better neighborhood relations, submitted by Kim Barney
  • Oakland, California – Restoring a beloved community recreation center for neighbors to have a safe and beautiful place to connect, submitted by Maribel Lopez
  • Miami, Florida – Creating plant sanctuaries at a local library for residents to learn about community gardening, submitted by Mary Benton
  • Acworth, Georgia – Building picnic tables, a gazebo, and a community garden to provide a safe space and healthy food for families in need, submitted by Gisele Butker
  • Kuna, Idaho – Upgrading youth baseball and softball fields so families have a place for recreational sports, submitted by Daniel Edralin
  • Topeka, Kansas – Transforming an alley into a pollinator garden to beautify an outdoor space for neighbors, submitted by Mike Spadafore
  • Detroit, Michigan – Building a community closet from recycled shipping containers to provide free clothing, household, and personal items to residents in need, submitted by Latisha Johnson
  • Buffalo, New York – Building a community garden so neighbors can learn about growing plants, contribute to the area food pantry, and meet neighbors, submitted by Susan Bradbury
  • Cincinnati, Ohio – Creating a mural crosswalk to safely connect a community garden with a local elementary school, submitted by Gary Dangel
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Upgrading courts and sports equipment at a local recreation center that emphasizes inclusive programs, submitted by Laura Lucas
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